Translated to the big screen, Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic tale, with its mix of despair and philosophical musing on hope, feels false and forced. A man (Mortensen) and his son (Smit-McPhee) are walking across the dying American landscape. If surviving means losing your humanity, is it worth surviving at all? Hillcoat wants to be bleak and astringent, but somehow the profundity has been bleached out. Images that should be haunting are paraded before us, one after another, and you can almost feel the film straining to convey its significance. Five additional scenes tacked on as bonus material—including one with a lonely dog barking in a mall—will thrill fans of the morose genre.